Good B2B marketing means having several legs to stand on. One of these should be trade magazines. After all, printed publications, now increasingly available as e-papers, take on an important role as consultant in the run-up to a buying decision. A mention in an article can therefore help to encourage sales.
Decision-makers read trade magazines
Trade magazines continue to be an important source of information for managers, which means they aid them in taking decisions – despite Google searches and company websites. But of course, digitalisation has also crept its way into the magazine world. Virtual issues are gaining in importance over printed copies. This is shown, for instance, in the E-Paper Survey 2020 (German only) from the German Federation of Newspaper Publishers (BDZV). They found that in the second quarter of this year, a total of two million digital magazines were sold. Compared to the first three months of 2020, this is a plus of 20 per cent.
But even more important than the form of the media is the degree of its acceptance. And when it comes to B2B trade magazines, it’s high. This is seen in a survey by the German Trade Press Association. Entitled “Reader analysis of decision-makers in business and administration”, LAE 2020 (German only) for short, the survey shows that among the roughly 8,000 persons questioned, …
- ... 89.8 per cent regularly use one or several trade magazines which provide content relevant to their career or job.
- ...76.2 per cent of digital offers (websites, social media, newsletters, apps) from trade magazines are regularly or occasionally used.
Mention in trade magazines: how to get there
The results found make print or online trade media interesting for B2B marketing. Which is why companies should develop a strategy on getting a mention with the aim to potentially boost sales. The following tips can help:
- Take the perspective of the editorial office: Trade magazines are especially interested in information that offers added value for their readers. They want to find out about exciting novelties that are pioneering and help to take decisions. Simple company announcements or purely PR text will not do the trick.
- Think in terms of stories: Not only the content is important for a news piece – the twist is too. It makes sense to describe a typical industry problem, including its solution. At all time, a use that is as concrete and understandable as possible for the trade audience must be the focus.
- Let a professional write up an article: The best stories hardly have a chance of being published if they are dry and written in the style of a normal press release. Instead, the story has to be original, exciting and, at the same time, easy to read. If you don’t have the necessary know-how in the company, it’s recommended that you use PR pros or journalists.
- Seek a direct contact person: An unsolicited and unagreed manuscript sent to the editorial office can quickly end up in the rubbish bin. It’s better to seek out a contact person and offer them an article. At the same time, you can clarify if the topic is suitable and in which form it could be published.
- Ensure exclusivity: Like companies, B2B magazines want to stand out from the competition. Which is why they are interested in unique content, which no one else will have.
The alternative: become an expert
Approaching trade magazines yourself is one option to get the B2B target group talking about you. But it also works the other way around: if you become established as an expert in the industry, you will even be asked for articles and interviews.
A good standing in the trade press can be achieved via personalised publications. The options are, among others:
- Trade talks / keynotes at trade fairs and congresses
- Posts on social media channels
- A book on the trade and trade articles
- A mention in public by reference customers